The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Honey Wheat loaves

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browndog's picture
April 18, 2007 - 6:40am -- browndog

There were such a variety of results for this bread I thought I'd give it a go to take a break from artisan/sourdough 101. Found it to be a good, servicable recipe resulting in a tender , good-tasting bread. I did an over-night soaker as suggested by JMonkey, found the 12 oz water just enough to wet the fairly coarse whole wheat I was using, then proceeded in the morning with no digressions except I used 17 oz water total, added 2 tbsp dried buttermilk powder, and 2 tbsp canola oil, another seemly suggestion courtesy the granola god. I added an extra cup of white flour, probably could've managed with a little less but still the dough while very managable was not dry or stiff, plenty tacky and responsive. It rose great guns, folded it twice to be agreeable but don't think it needed it, as the dough had plenty of spring all along. The final proof took only an hour, I did not preheat but set the oven at 450, left it for 10 minutes, then finished the bake at 375. After perusing the difficulties some encountered, I'd recommend from this experience don't be afraid to add some extra flour and don't over-proof. If I'd let the dough go an hour and a half in the pans I'd have had flat bread. I don't see any real advantage to keeping the dough on the slack side as one might rather do in artisan, so I would encourage anyone who is struggling not to be afraid of adding a little flour. As written the recipe produces a very workable dough, but we all know that flours seem to be as individual and quirky as teenagers. And when baking sandwich bread, I've never found it a positive thing to have a dough full of visible bubbles as might be admired on your artisan hearth loaf. Usually just means it's gone too long and it's gonna collapse enroute to your cooling rack.